Sometimes, especially in our largely first world society today, it's hard to be truly thankful.
I have lived years of mumbling dutiful, well-meant and completely insincere thank-you prayers (lasting an average of under five seconds) to God for meals and other 'basic' blessings.
It took me a while to realize that if my lack of true sincerity embarrassed even me, how much more God, Who knew my heart better than I did.
In my mind and with my mouth, I acknowledged them as blessings,
but in my heart--
Similarly, I thought I'd always been grateful for a stay-at-home mom who took care of our meals, reminded us to eat fruits, listened to our worries, made oatmeal for breakfast when we had to hurry out to a long day, and kept the house running as the hub that those of us working, studying, and going out relied on. But I didn't realize what it meant till she had to be away almost all day everyday, taking care of my grandpa after a major operation--and everything she had taken care of effortlessly fell to ME! Forget the oatmeal and fruits and aunt agony-ing. Managing to cook three decently healthy meals without buying out meant a victorious day.
I needed to lose my blessings before I could truly be thankful for them.
Actually, I didn't really see them as blessings; more like basic entitlements I deserved, even as I mumbled a hasty "I-know-I-don't-deserve-this-and-that-many-other-people-don't-have-what-I-do". In fact, my mind was usually preoccupied with what was really important to me: my prayer requests! God, give me this. God, please....I want this real bad.
DearGodthankYouforthisfood--I hate asparagus!--and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE LET ME SCORE WELL on this exam PLEASE..........
Similarly, another parent-child analogy...
Thank you Mom Dad for giving me a house to stay in, food to eat, clothes to wear and money to spend, but that's basic; and all parents have to love their kids like this by default, right? What I really want is an iPad, and if you get it for me then I'd really know you loved me. That's the type of love I want and need, what I define as real love.
And then off we go to college, or maybe something else happens which throws us on our own. And we realize that the cooking, cleaning, and earning has become more important than anything else, because suddenly no one's doing it for us anymore.
And only as we listlessly dump hot water into the hundredth cup noodles, drag ourselves out of bed groaning because that paycheck is our lifeline, stuff our dirty laundry into the washing machine higgledy-piggledy so the new red towel bleeds into our best white shirt and ruins it irrevocably--only then we realize that this sort of love, this patient, grueling, unglamorous, long-term and long-suffering sort of love is actually...important.
The type of love we need, that keeps us alive. The type of love which proves better than a million iPads that our parents do love us. The type of love we take for granted.
God loves us that way too.
Maybe we want iPad love from God, so to speak--want Him to love us our way, our definition of love. But maybe God's love for us is better than that, and better for us than that
--even if to us it looks like nothing more exciting than dirty laundry.
'I have loved you', says the Lord.
Yet you say, 'In what way have You loved us?'
a small voice
Ci thinks some of God's greatest blessings to mankind are
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